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Lifesaving SMS pre-call project launched at NAIDOC

10 July 2018

Central Queensland Public Health Unit launched a project in Rockhampton today that will increase immunisation rates for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.

The CQ-wide SMS Immunisation Pre-call Project is the result of a pilot project the unit ran in Gladstone from 2016 to 2017, which showed an increased uptake of immunisation of about 10%.

Dr Gulam Khandaker, Director of CQ Public Health Unit, said the initiative was simple, but effective. From October 1, 2018, parents and caregivers will receive an SMS reminder five days before their babies are due for their two, four, six, 12 and 18 month vaccinations.

“Families’ details are recorded on our database at the time of birth, so there’s no need to sign up for the scheme, it’s all automatic. Parents will be able to opt-out of receiving the message if they wish,” Dr Khandaker said.

The project was launched at this week’s NAIDOC Annual Baby Show at the Child and Family Centre in North Rockhampton.

“The Public Health team was joined by Rockhampton paediatricians Dr Fred Nagel and Dr Sunday Pam for the launch at the baby show, and it was a great way to spread the word to young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families,” Dr Khandaker said.

“The reception was very positive, with parents very happy to receive reminders for their children’s vital immunisations.”

Director of Paediatrics Dr Fred Nagel shared his support for the scheme.

“I’ve been around long enough to know immunisations make a significant difference to the problems we face, and how fantastic it is to put these resources in place to ensure our children are immunised on time to keep them safe from disease,” he said.

The project will be led by Nurse Unit Manager Dianne Krenske. The Public Health Unit was represented at today’s launch by Dr Khandaker, Amanda Wyatt, Lucinda Nedwich and Orietta Essery.

Last updated: 30 August 2018

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